Have you ever heard that chocolate is “good” for you? Well, it’s partially true. the component in chocolate that has loads of benefit comes from chocolates source, Cacao. This amazing bean has loads of nutrients and has been identified as containing the highest level of antioxidants. Cacao, cocoa, dark chocolate, milk chocolate what’s the difference?
Cacao powder is cold a pressed form the cacao bean. This means it remains in it’s raw state with all those nutrients intact.
Cocoa powder is the cacao bean processed with high heat and therefore it doesn’t contain ALL the beneficial nutrients found in it’s raw state. This is used to make most chocolate on the market.
Chocolate bars are typically made from cocoa with added, sugar, milk, and hydrogenated oils. Dark chocolate has a lot more cocoa in it making it a better option in comparison to milk chocolate.
In a study from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry researchers found that cocoa had the highest level of antioxidants in comparison to red wine, green tea, and black tea. So no worries your dark chocolate still contains some great stuff! (1)
The real powerhouse though, is raw cacao powder. Raw cacao has about four times the antioxidants than dark chocolate and more than 20 times than that of blueberries, say what? (2)
They’re also a good source of iron, fiber, protein, calcium, and magnesium. Basically you need this in your life. So I provided a delish treat for you that doesn’t have to come with the guilt! Oh ya, did I mention that it’s easy?
(Refined sugar-free, Vegan, Paleo, Low-FODMAP, Gluten-free)
Servings: 12-15 Time: 15-20 minutes
- 1/3 cup of almond butter
- 1/4 cup of canned pumpkin puree without added sugar (BPA free lining)
- 1/2 cup+1tsp of cacao-powder or 1 cup of dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- Sweetener: 1 tablespoon +1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup (or honey, or Stevia)
- 12-15 miniature baking cups
- 1 teaspoon of Pumpkin Spice blend
- Sea-salt to sprinkle
- Place the miniature baking cups in mini-cupcake pan or on a small baking sheet
- Pour the cacao powder, coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup in a small pot and heat on low consistently stirring until fully combined -OR- if you decided to use dark chocolate melt in a double broiler
- Pour about 1-2 teaspoons of the chocolate mix into each baking cup (the rest will be used for the top coat). Place the tray in the freezer for about 5 minutes for the chocolate to solidify
- Combine the almond butter, pumpkin puree, 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup and pumpkin-pie seasoning to a bowl and stir together (it should be thick in consistency)
- When ready, add a dollop (about 1 teaspoon) of the pumpkin butter mixture to each baking cup and “flatten” it out
- Pour about 1-2 teaspoons of chocolate on top of the pumpkin-butter, enough to cover it so that you can’t see it
- Sprinkle a little sea-salt and place them in a freezer for another 5 minutes
- They will melt so be sure to store them in the refrigerator. But it’s completely understandable if you eat them all
Note: If you are using dark chocolate pieces you do not need to add the coconut oil or sweetener, unless they have no added sugar. Simply melt the dark chocolate for step #2
This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care workers.